Birthright

Written by:

Constance Lindsay Skinner, adapted by Joan Bryans

Cast Size:
10

Roles For:

  • Men: 5
  • People of Colour: 3
  • Women: 5

Genre:

Adaptation
Drama
Historical

Themes:

20th Century
Canadian History
Colonialism
History
Home
Indigenous
Land Rights
Love
Marriage
Metis
Nature
Race
Racism
Religion

Length:

120 min.

Synopsis:

“In Birthright, Precious is unaware that she was sent away for schooling to avoid the shame and discrimination which would occur should the secret get out that she is part Native. The son of the local chief, himself a product of a mixed marriage, is in love with her but so too is the son of the house. What will happen when, as it must, the secret of her parentage gets out? Determined to walk her own revolutionary path for freedom, Precious’s actions trigger in others all the prejudices and hypocrisies of the day. Skinner pulls no punches, and her indictment of these prejudices, both Native and white, religious and secular, while often couched in humour, touches as many raw nerves as ever.” (From the Publisher’s Website)

Characters:

Reverend Robert Maclean: a missionary

Mrs. Martha Maclean: his wife

Harold (Harry) Maclean: their son

Precious Conroy: their adopted daughter

Mrs. Redfern: friend of the Macleans

Cissie Redfern: her daughter

Sim’oogit: Indian tribal cheif

Louis Prince (Hlaagoo’t): his son

Tom Conroy: cousin of Mrs. Maclean

Koksilah: Young wife of Sim’oogit

Mary: Indian housemaid of of the Macleans (can be played by the same actor that plays Koksilah)

Resources:

Birthright is available through Playwrights Canada Press.

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